Friday, July 10, 2015

Notes toward that book you're going to want to read, 1st installment

Language teacher James Vukelich and I have undertaken a book project that explores the power and philosophy embedded in Anishinaabemowin (also known as the Ojibwe language) to help us look at the world and the problems it faces today. We cannot expect a technocratic, anthropocentric society, which created problems of intolerance, social inequity, and environmental destruction, to offer solutions that won't do anything but create similar problems. We need to step outside that world's structures of thought in order to address the problems it has created. As a means to that end, our book will introduce key Anishinaabe philosophical and spiritual concepts, such as the seven generations teachings, as well as examining the seven Anishinaabe virtues, and use them to gain new perspectives on these problems so that everyone may reach what the Anishinaabe call mino-bimaadiziwin, the good life.

We will be posting excerpts from the book as we go along. Feel free to share them on all your social media.


Of all the mistakes that they could have made, human beings made an epoch-shaping one when they began to see themselves as aliens on the Earth. When they began to see themselves as different from other animals and living beings and when they began to regard themselves as superior to these other forms of life because they were self-aware and self-determining, they began to regard their purpose on Earth differently. They began to see themselves not just as superior to other beings, they began to see themselves as progressing from a lesser state of societal being to a greater one, evolving from what many of them thought was a primitive state of moral and material want to an advanced state of scientific knowledge and technological progress where they could remake the world to suit their needs and desires. 
Is ET us, or are we him?
The Earth ceased to be a home where one found physical, psychological, and spiritual grounding following this mistake. When human beings transformed the environments they lived within from homes to resources, they became alien to the planet that presented them—as in gave them a gift—with the means to live a good life.


1 comment:

  1. This is exciting! Talk about a "new" spin on the concept of "alienation". I look forward to future installments.

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